Peer Review Comments on the Experiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Reviewer 1: “I would like to address the study’s complete absence of a control group, for starters, but the study design isn’t the only thing here that’s out of control. The clinical applications for this type of, uh, ‘research’ are frankly rather limited, and the study’s contributions to science are quite small given the countless existing, documented cases of personality disorder (though, admittedly, most of those involve opiate- or ethanol-based agents). A quick scroll through the local arrest records existing literature on the subject should provide a sufficient overview.

Regarding the activating agent here, described as a ‘chemical salt’, it appears from the PI’s notes that the integrity of the solvent (and definitely that of the experimenter) may have been compromised. Might be something to look into.

Finally, though it seems the intent was a generous gesture, giving the experimental subject access to his own private residence, domestic staff and personal bank account appears to grossly exceed the definition of a “study incentive”. The IRS has been duly informed.”

Reviewer 2: “There appears to be no provision for reporting adverse effects, and no plans to stop the experiment as required in such cases — it’s almost as if the researchers thought the FDA’s entire regulatory protocol was ‘What the hell, let’s just see where this goes’. For some of the events recounted here in this little one-man Stanford Prison Experiment, I would like to speak to the IRB and the FDA and probably also the FBl.”

Reviewer 3: “Setting aside the question of the study’s contributions, it appears that the manuscript itself was a source of some tension. It seems from the numerous pen marks and annotations that the PI and the experimental subject had some lingering, rancorous disagreement over who, exactly, was to be first author.”

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